Skipper Ciaran Clark hopes the friendly with Russia will be perfect preparation for their qualifiers in May.
England v Russia
International U19 Friendly
7pm, Tuesday 25 March 2008
stadium:mk, Milton Keynes Dons FC
Ticket Hotline: 01908 622900
Charter Standard Booking Form.doc
Group Booking Form.doc
England U19s skipper Ciaran Clark admits he can’t wait to lead out the Young Lions again, when they face Russia on Tuesday night.
The Aston Villa ace has been given the job of captaining his country in the previous two games against Germany and Croatia and is likely to be bestowed with the honour again at stadium:mk as Brian Eastick’s team continue their preparations for May’s European Championship Elite Qualifiers in Belarus.
“I was captain against Germany and Croatia and it’s been a great experience, as it would be for any player,” revealed Clark.
“It’s a massive honour and something I was delighted to do and if we can keep going as we have been, even better.”
Aside from one defeat against Germany in November, it has been a successful season for the U19s, who have enjoyed emphatic wins over Belarus, Iceland and Romania so far and last time out were 2-0 victors against Croatia in February.
With the purpose of the game being to give the side further experience against Eastern European opposition, Clark is expecting Tuesday’s game to be the same sort of test.
“I think it will be a similar game to the Croatia match,” admitted the central defender.
“They are both Eastern European teams, so they will play the same sort of game but Russia might have a bit more about them, so it will be a really tough test for us.
“We have to prepare for the Elite Qualifying Round in Belarus and this will help us.
“We have games with Poland, Belarus and Serbia and whilst we don’t know a great deal about them at the moment, we are expecting Russia to be similar and this will be a good game for us to play before we head out to Belarus.
“The confidence levels are high and we want to take that through to the Qualifiers.
“We’re looking forward to playing at Milton Keynes too, it’s a new ground so it will be another good experience for us.”
Clark is also hoping that his performances for club and country can see him continue to climb through the ranks over the next few years.
Having already represented England at U17 and U18 level, the next step for him now is to get into the Under-21s, but he knows that there is a lot of hard work ahead for him to reach that level.
“I want to keep moving up through the ranks and the next step will be the Under-21s,” he revealed.
“I want to push on with Villa firstly though, as they pay my wages and you need to be playing well for your club to get the opportunities with the national team.
“That’s always a massive privilege and a perfect incentive to keep performing every week, so I can hopefully keep progressing and reach that standard and then ultimately the ambition is to get into the full squad.”
Charter Standard clubs can claim up to 50 free tickets while group bookings are just 50p per person for parties of 15 or more. Just download the forms at the top of the page!
Ground admission costs just £3 for adults in advance (£5 on the day) and £1 for concessions.
Tickets for the game will be available by contacting 01908 622900.